Uganda ready for human testing for Covid vaccine

Uganda ready for human testing for Covid vaccine
Dr.Monica Musenero.

Uganda started working on the COVID-19 vaccine amidst covid with many hoping it would be produced faster to help the country. Years later, the process is still ongoing with the science and technology minister saying it is 3asier said than done because they have faced immense challenges along the way.

1st were delays in procurement because there had to be strict adherence to the Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) Act, internationally, many countries and companies were reluctant to sell commodities so sometimes it took the president of Uganda to personally call a leader of another country.

Musenero however says theĀ  COVID vaccines have been developed and ready for human testing. These are after various tests on different organisms and 1 more left in a specialised mouse that behaves like a "human being". She now says Volunteers ready to participate should be ready for the process.

1st vaccine is Adenovector with a resemblance to AstraZeneca from India. Musenero says at the beginning they got in touch with countries that have the backbone/carrier but they declined to share and thus the country had to start afresh and now the country has its vaccine and backborne too.

Viruses are genetic material surrounded by a protein shell with the ability to infect cells, hijack cellular machinery, and make copies of themselves. Viruses are also detected by the immune system and stimulate innate and adaptive immune responses and quite often, potent immunological memory that protects the host from reinfection. Therefore, researchers have been using viruses as vectors or carriers of vaccine antigens to protect against infectious diseases ( Heather D.Marshall 2021).

The second Vaccine option is the inactivated vaccine where the virus is extracted from the patient, and grown in special cells (Vero cells). These are the only cells/places where the virus can grow outside the body. These cells are extracted from green Monkeys which Musenero says were a bit hard to get with backlash from environmentalists. The multiplied virus is then inactivated and purified of which the purified components are used to make vaccines. This kind of technology is likened to the Sinovac Vaccine from China. Some types of inactivated vaccines include Polio, Hepatitis A and rabies Vaccines.

3rd in line is the subunit vaccine. Here, a small piece of the virus is extracted and introduced to an area/ body which multiplies that piece specifically. These might include specialised yeast cells or bacteria grown in multiplication to produce a specific protein that is purified and used to make a vaccine. Subunit vaccines consist of a small amount of virus particles, which induces protective immunity in patients. A subunit vaccine is an effective and inexpensive method for the prevention of health disorders. They have fewer side effects compared to live-attenuated vaccines, but they need adjuvants to enhance the effect.

The minister says another line that uses a molecule called messenger RNA which was slower and thus shelved plus it was a relatively new methodology that required more scrutiny.

Different countries were using different technologies to make vaccines because different technologies give different efficiencies with different variants so to be safe, you want to do a combination like it was during the COVID-19 vaccinations.

But also since it is research, you use different scientific knowledge to create options and develop capacity because different diseases require different technologies for example Adenovector will be used for different viruses and also especially since Covid has had some mutations that express differently.

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